Video shows more than a dozen teens stuffing shoes into trash bags, grabbing clothing off the racks, and roaming the store like a pack of wild wildebeests before fleeing the Nike Community Store on South Alameda Street with the stolen items. Many of them wore masks to conceal their identities.
The Los Angeles Police Department said there are 17 suspects in total. 13 of them are males and 4 of them are females. All of them are black in race and between the ages of 15 and 20, the Daily Mail reports.
The thieving teens made their escape around 6 pm in five vehicles including a gray KIA SUV, a white Honda, a KIA four-door, a black Audi, and a tan Infiniti four-door.
The outlet reports that the group had stolen $12,000 worth of merchandise.
Brazen retail theft has become a common occurrence in California, as well as the entire West Coast.
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, Los Angeles County has the highest commercial robbery rate in the state, with a 15.7 percent increase since 2019.
California law enforcement agencies have begun working to address organized retail theft statewide. In August, Gov. Newsom announced that resources for the California Highway Patrol (CHP) would be tripling to fight rampant retail theft.
"The CHP is the proven leader in tackling organized retail theft and through this expanded partnership the agency will further assist the city in doing its job to keep Angelenos and their businesses safe," Newsom said in a press release at the time.
The cost for law enforcement to tackle organized retail theft comes at a hefty price tag. The crackdowns are expected to cost the state more than $19 billion this year, according to the outlet.
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